HULL KR’S long search for an elusive victory will not be made any easier just because Widnes Vikings arrive at Craven Park tomorrow.
That’s the sentiment of Rovers head coach Craig Sanderock as he prepares his frustrated side for the visit of opponents who finished rock bottom last term.
Struggling Hull KR have not won a solitary game since winning at Widnes last July, a barren run that threatens to stretch to eight matches if they fail to overcome Denis Betts’s side on Sunday.
But Sandercock remains wary of their threat believing the Vikings are a more rounded outfit in 2013 and capable of greater things in the season ahead.
They won at London on the first weekend and pushed St Helens close last week while Rovers – hamstrung by injuries – have failed to overcome Catalan and Wakefield so far.
“It’s going to be a tough game,” conceded the Australian, who hopes to be aided by the return of England ETS centre Kris Welham to Super League action for the first time since June.
“I saw the St Helens game and Widnes played really well.
“They should have won. They’ve just signed one of the best back-rowers in the game in Gareth Hock so we’re under no illusions how tough it will be.
“They’re competitive across the park, they don’t seem to have the weaknesses they had last year and they have a better skill level,” he added.
Rovers, meanwhile, have been forced to address defensive issues this week after they conceded 18 unanswered and costly points while down to 12 men against Wakefield a week ago.
If Welham comes through today’s final training session unscathed to make his comeback after a broken leg and, latterly, fractured hand, he will undoubtedly enhance their three-quarters as will ex-Huddersfield full-back Greg Eden who could debut.
Sandercock added: “We’ve been working hard all week on little areas of the game that have been letting us down, and if we fix those, and get a little bit of luck go our way, I’m pretty confident.
“It’s not just a matter of fixing up defence, it’s about fixing discipline and other small areas, including cutting out individual errors.
“When we get everybody back fit we’ll have more pressure for places but it’s difficult when you have seven out.”